Soon, a space perfect for friends who love to game or those looking to make new acquaintances over drinks and friendly competition will open in Grand Ledge. Jeff Croff, an entrepreneur and active member of Lansing’s theater community, and his wife, SaDonna, don’t have an exact opening date for Homebrew Tabletop Game Lounge, but when it’s ready, they hope guests will enjoy perusing the selections as much as they do.
“We decided to open up Homebrew because we’re both gamers,” Jeff Croff said. The couple came up with the idea after attending a gaming convention.
While they didn’t initially consider Grand Ledge as a potential spot for the venture, the storefront they found was too good to pass up.
“The space was so perfect,” Croff said. “It’s accessible and has a good amount of parking. So, for us, it ended up ticking off a lot of the boxes.”
The lounge will offer classics like chess, checkers and playing cards, but if that doesn’t interest you, you can enjoy more niche games like Settlers of Catan or bring your own favorites. The only rule is no Monopoly.
“We have a variety of the latest and greatest (games) that are just off Kickstarter. To purchase them would cost you $150 or more,” Croff said. “But you can actually play them here and sort of kick the tires before you buy them yourself.”
Classic rentals are free with the purchase of drinks, packaged snacks or merchandise; family games, perfect for younger kids, are $5 per game; and standard rentals are $5 per person per game.
Even before starting work on the new business, Croff has always kept busy.
“Most of my life has been in communications, marketing and public relations while also starting and maintaining two nonprofit theater ensembles in the Lansing area. In contrast to large cities where I’d be a barista by day and acting or directing at night, I managed to create (the now-defunct) Icarus Falling and the Ixion Ensemble,” he said. “So, for me, it’s not much of a switch to go and have a different day job.”
He said the venture is “all about the people.” Novice and experienced players alike can join games or tournaments with community members who share a common interest and have simple, old-school fun.
“It’s the energy and the dynamism that you feel when people are being creative, when they’re actually engaging in laughter and exploration,” that Croff is most excited to experience when the space opens, he said.
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